www.Greece-Athens.com - ATHENS CITY GUIDE

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OCTOBER 24, 2002

OCTOBER 24, 2002 – JANUARY 23, 2003

The exhibition, presenting thirty paintings and a piece of sculpture by the surrealist master, is being organized in collaboration with the Gala – Salvador Dalí Foundation (Figueres, Spain) and the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. SALVADOR DALÍ; Singularity and Myth focuses on the artist’s idiosyncratic personality. Dalí left his palpable mark on 20th-century culture by means of his visionary art, which in effect changed the way we now view the world. Time and History, Love and Sexual frustration, Modern man and his anxieties are some of the perpetual topics of Dalí’s work, mostly orchestrated over the underlying theme of Humanity and its myths, ancient or contemporary. The title reflects Dalí’s painting Singularities (1935), in which the artist makes a tongue-in-cheek comment regarding his own eccentric personality and the myth that was surrounding it already in the 1930s.

With the generous grant of the Fundación Gala-Salvador Dalí and in collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

Author : Travelling-Greece.com

Ten Days for Architecture
29/11/2002 - 08/12/2002

The Hellenic Institute of Architecture, with the support of the Architectural Network of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture organizes a series of events from the 29th of November to the 8th December (10 days for architecture). Similar events take place in Thessaloniki, in Chania, as well as in many other countries, in order to establish a World Day for Architecture. The events, which will take place, aim to inform the public as far as the importance, the substance, the utility and the implications of the presence or absence of architecture in everyday life is concerned. It is an effort to present and make known to the public some examples of the contemporary Greek architecture so as to begin a further discussion about architecture in the city. The following events have been scheduled for the city of Athens: - Signaling and presentation of 30 buildings of high architectural quality in the center of Athens. To see a complete list of these building click here. - Five buildings open to the public, hosting an exhibition which presents the 30 selected buildings. - Publication of articles written by architects and non-architects referring to architectural and urban problems of the Greek cities. - Presentation of the events by the media. Television programmes and special issues at the press, have been scheduled. - Selection of certain school buildings of high architectural interest and conducted tours for groups of students. - Conducted tours are scheduled, on Sunday the 1st of December, as well as, on Sunday the 8th of December. On behalf of the Hellenic Institute of Architecture the event curators are the architects: V. Arapidis, H. Kokkinaki, L. Manitsidou, G. Papanastasiou, with the support of the architect S. Gyftopoulos member of the Hellenic Institute of Architecture. Similar events are being organized in the city of Thessaloniki by the Architects Association of Thessaloniki and in Chania by the Center of Mediterranean Architecture.

Author : Greek Ministry of Culture

Orlando Furioso by Vivaldi at the Greek National Opera
10 -19 Jan 2003

In the marvellous baroque opera Orlando Furioso by Antonio Vivaldi, witchcraft, fantasy, and love get into a tangle when Angelica, Medoro and Orlando are destined to meet along at the enchanted island of the sorceress Alcina. Five unique performances are given -for the first time in Greece- at the Greek National Opera.

Orlando furioso occupies a central and very significant place among Vivaldi's works. Not only does the whole score of this opera demonstrate its composer's full, creative maturity, but its outstanding features are also an extraordinary musical beauty, an attractive recitative line, and a balance thus created between the various parts of the dramatic and musical whole.

Orlando Furioso was the name of an earlier opera with music by G. A. Ristori and a libretto by Grazio Braccioli. Vivaldi made modifications to that opera in 1714, and in 1727 wrote completely new music to Braccioli's libretto. The story is based on Ludovico Ariosto's poem under the same title, Orlando Furioso.

Antonio Vivaldi's opera takes place on the sorceress Alcina's enchanted island. Although old and ugly, Alcina has the magical power to make herself appear beautiful and to bewitch courtiers who set foot in her realm. She has tried to make her power eternal by gaining possession of the invincible guard Arontes under the statue of the wizard in the Temple of Infernal Hecate.

Brought to the island by fate, the other main characters of the opera, namely the beautiful Angelica, her young Saracen lover, Medoro, and the jealous Orlando -a Christian knight and Charlemagne's nephew, who is in love with Angelica- are entwined in an intriguing love story of furious passion and despair.

The ID of the performance
Conductor: Vassilis Christopoulos
Director: Maria Yiparaki
Set and Costumes design: Francesco Cito
Choreography: Chrissiida Liatziviri
Light Designer: Filippos Koutsaftis
Cast: Marita Paparizou (Orlando), Mata Katsouli (Angelica), Margarita Singeniotou (Medoro), Mary Helen Nezi (Bradamante), Nikos Spanos (Ruggiero), Marina Fideli (Alcina) and others.

Reservation: +30-210-3612461
Communication: +30-210-3614433, 3600697

Author : Greek Ministry of Culture

Kroustofonia Ensemble at the Athens Concert Hall
12 Jan 2003

Kroustofonia Musical Ensemble gives a concert at Friends of Music Hall at the Athens Concert Hall, in the context of Sunday mornings at the Concert Hall. The series of concerts, organized every year by the Athens Concert Hall, is addressed to a mostly young audience and aims to familiarize children and teenagers with the wonderful world of music.

Kroustofonia Musical Ensemble interprets works by Andre and Jacques Phillidor (March for two timpani), Camille Saint-Saens (Le cygne), Henry Mancini (The baby elephant walk), Heitor Villa-Lobos (Brazilian dance), Henry Hankock (Cantaloop Island), Joe and George Green (Xylophone), Karl Heinz Wiberny (Ulla IN Africa) and Aram Khatchaturjan (Sable Dance).

The Ensemble continues its concert by presenting dances from Greek tradition (Suite on Greek dances), Mambo no 5 by Perez Prado, Freedom Jazz Dance by Eddie Harris and traditional Brazilian Samba Batukata.

Krustofonia was founded in 1998 and since then it has given several concerts in events organized by the city of Athens. The ensemble was created in the context of the Panhellenic Percussion Instruments Association. It consists of: Alexandros Christidis, Athina Kapsetaki, Charalambos Taliadouros, Styliani Triantafyllou, Nikolaos Karatzas, Panayiotis Koliavassilis, Alexandros Yiovannos, Marinos Tranoudakis, Petros Bynios, Vassilis Panayiotopoulos, Odysseas Stefanis and Dimos Dimitriadis.

Alexandros Christridis is the artistic director of the Ensemble. His career began in Kievo, where he studied music. He has participated in many concerts and recordings in Greece and abroad and in numerous festival, too. From 1982 to 1987 he has been leading the Percussion Instruments Ensemble of the National Opera. From 1987 to 1992 he has been member of ERT television Symphony Orchestra, while from 1992 he has been leader at the Athens State Orchestra.

Alexandros Christidis in the first Greek musician to interpret Psapfa for percussion instruments soloist by Ianis Xenakis.

Reservation: +30-210-7282333
Communication: +30-210-7282000, 7282333, 7257601-2

Author : Greek Ministry of Culture

The Last Greeks of Asia Minor
2 Dec 2002 - 28 Feb 2003

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Asia Minor Disaster (the uprooting of the Greek communities from the region in 1922), the Directory of Folk Culture (Hellenic Ministry of Culture), the Center of Asia Minor Studies and the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, organize the exhibition The Last Greeks of Asia Minor at the National History Museum (Old Parliament Building) in Athens.
With documents and reports, the exhibition aims to recreate and highlight various aspects (religious, educational, social, cultural) of the late presence of the Greek population in Asia Minor. At the same time, it reconstructs the historic framework within which the developments that changed the map of the region unfolded.

The exhibits do not limit the thematic of the exhibition just in the western, coastal Asia Minor, but rather expand to other important geographical regions where Greek communities developed, like Pontus, Eastern Thrace and Cappadocia.

The exhibition is organized into units and attends the routes of Hellenism in the last few years before the Exodus from the lands of Asia Minor. A brief historic tour through time traces down the roots of Greek dynamic presence in the antiquity and documents the changes that happened as a result of the Ottoman conquest.
The daily life of enslaved Asia Minor Greeks, their problems, the crucial for the community's survival role of the church and education, are some of the exhibition's main concerns. Also presented are the military and political developments that played an important role in the first crucial years after the end of the first World War up until the 1922 disaster.

The various exhibits (historic relics, flags, engravings, documents, publications, rare editions, personal objects, photographs, traditional folk dresses) are coming from the rich collections of the History Museum and the Center of Asia Minor Studies. These exhibits alone prove the great interest of these foundations in preserving the historic memory of Asia Minor.

From the material exhibited, what impresses more is the series of photographs that were taken during the Asia Minor campaign by amateur and professional military photographers. These pictures show in a unique manner not just scenes of the operations but also snapshots of the soldiers' daily life.

Of special interest for visitors is also the great number of Karamanlite publications (meaning texts written in the Turkish language but with Greek letters), that manage to acquaint them with the unknown intellectual production of Cappadocia.

Relics of Patriarch Joachim III and Chrysostomos of Smyrna (today's Izmir), community codes, musical instruments and manuscripts, samples of folk art, are just some of the exhibits that attract the visitors.

The exhibition is accompanied by rich printed material. Institutions that have also contributed to the exhibition are the Association of Smyrnans from Asia Minor and the Nea Sinassos Association.

Communication: +30-210-3226370, 3237315, 3237617, 3222266

Author : Greek Ministry of Culture

Translating ancient philosophy...
14 Jan 2003

The European Center for the Translation of Literature and the Human Sciences (EKEMEL) organizes an open discussion entitled Ancient Philosophy in Translation, which aims to analyze the special difficulties and peculiarities of the work of the translator when working on texts of great ancient philosophers.

The event is being hosted by EKEMEL's director of the Department of Philosophy and Human Sciences, Mr. Panayotis Poulos. Speakers in the open discussion are Mr. Paulos Kaligas, co-director of Deukalion literary magazine, and Mr. Vassilis Kalfas, professor of Philosophy in the University of Crete.

The event takes place on Tuesday, January 14, at 7:30pm, at the Logou & Technis Hall of Athens' Book Gallery.

Author : Greek Ministry of Culture

4 Jun - 27 Oct 2003

This international archaeological exhibition, whose full title is: Sea routes. From Sidon to Huelva. Inter-relations among the Mediterranean peoples. 16th 6th century B.C., was funded by the Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004 (Greek Ministry of Culture). The exhibition places its emphasis on the wealth of goods and ideas exchanged between the Mediterranean peoples, such as the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Etruscans, the Iberians etc. These inter-relations are being demonstrated by material remains from antiquity, turning up at excavations throughout the Mediterranean.

Author : www.travelling-greece.com

Great Opera Productions at the Athens Concert Hall
10/10/2003 - 17/05/2004

Three grand productions form the unit Great Opera Productions at the Athens Concert Hall for the 2003-2004 period. Starting from I Vespri Siciliani by Giuseppe Verdi on October 2003, then follows Arthur Honegger's Jeanne au Bucher. The marvellous Traviata by Verdi comes on May, directed by Ulrich Peter.

Here is the programme of the performances:

October 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22 (2003) Giuseppe Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani Stage concept, sets, costumes: Nikos Petropoulos Stage director: Rodolfo Craia Roles interpreted by: Elena: Susan Neves, Eliane Coelho, Arrigo: Janez Lotric, Keith Ikaia Purdy, Monforte: Vladimir Chernov, Alexandru Agache, James Johnson, Procida: Francesco Ellero d'Artegna, Paata Burchuladze. The Athens State Orchestra participates conducted by Donato Renzetti.

February 26, 27 (2004) Arthur Honegger: Jeanne au Bucher (Dramatised Oratorio) Director: Thomas Moschopoulos Sets: Dionysis Fotopoulos Nonika Galinea interpretes the main role. The Athens State Orchestra participates conducted by Nikos Tsouchlos.

May 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17 (2004) Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata Director: Ulrich Peter Sets - Costumes: Nikos Georgiadis Roles interpreted by: Violetta: Ruth Ann Swenson, Inga Nielsen, Alfredo: Charles Castronovo, Piotr Beczala, Germont: Jean-Luc Chaignaud. The Athens State Orchestra participates conducted by Richard Bonynge.

Athens Concert Hall The inspiration for a multifunctional culture centre can be traced back to the renowned soprano Alexandra Triandi, who founded the the Friends of Music Society. The society then commissioned some top Greek and foreign architects and sound experts to design the Athens Concert Hall.

In 1956 the Greek government donated a site for its construction. It should be noted that the first monies towards erecting the building came from Dimitris Mitropoulos, who donated the proceeds from the New York Philharmonic's Athens recitals, which he conducted.

The design was completed in the 1970s. The building's foundations were laid following a much needed donation, which covered the project's financing, by the great benefactor and president of the Dekozis-Vouros Foundation, Mr Lambros Eftaxias.

After a hiatus of some years, construction resumed in 1981. A new governing body was formed, this time with the cooperation of the Greek government, which, through a number of substantial donations, contributed considerably towards completion of the project. This new body is the the Athens Concert Hall Organisation, which has been jointly governed from 1981 to the present day by representatives of the Friends of Music Society and the state.

Since it opened its doors to the public in 1991, the Athens Concert Hall has been regarded as one of the most comprehensive culture centres in Europe. Its superb acoustics has been acclaimed both by the public and by renowned performers of the music and art world.The Athens Concert Hall has welcomed and still welcomes top class artists, music ensembles, composers, conductors and performers in an artistic trajectory that has left its mark in the country's culture scene.

Author : www.travelling-greece.com

Bridges series at the Athens Concert Hall
05/11/2003 - 26/05/2004

Bridges with young people, world music, and other arts. This year's cycle at the Athens Concert Hall brings the audience close to the artistic creation of Zulfu Livaneli, Dulce Pontes, Chronis Áidonidis, Orlando Valle and Dino Saluzzi. Also, Bridges present the stunning balalaikas by the Andreyev Russian Imperial Orchestra, guitar works and the famous Derevo Theatre Company.

Here is the programme of the performances:

November 5 (2003) A Tribute to Zulfu Livaneli Vocalist Maria Farandouri performs Livaneli's New Age Rhapsody and songs. Soloists from Greece and Turkey, as well as the Volos Symphony Orchestra, participate. Conductor is Semyon Kogan.

December 11 (2003) Dulce Pontes in concert The famous Portuguese vocalist of fados and her ensemble.

December 14 (2003) Balalaikas: The Andreyev Russian Imperial Orchestra A festive Christmas event. Soloist in saxophone is Theodore Kerkezos.

December 15 (2003) Melos Brass wind ensemble in concert A festive Christmas event. The organist Nicolas Kynaston participates.

December 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 (2003) Music tales Periklis Koukos: Merlin the Wizard on Poetry Island. A festive Christmas event, a musical extravaganza. The Camerata- Friends of Music Orchestra conducted by Alexandros Myrat participates.

January 22 (2004) Guitar Festival The soloists John Williams and Kostas Kotsiolis interpret works by Guiliani and Brouwer. The Camerata - Friends of Music Orchestra conducted by Leo Brouwer participates. The artistic supervision is by Kostas Kotsiolis.

February 4 & 5 (2004) Ensemble Accentus conducted by Thomas Wimmer.

February 6 (2004) Guitar Horizons Works by Brouwer, Rodrigo, Takemitsu, Papageorgiou are performed by the soloists Kostas Kotsiolis, Eduardo Fernandez, Sinitchi Fukuda. The Athens State Orchestra participates conducted by Leo Brouwer.

Date pending Chronis Aidonidis: 50 years dedicated to Greek tradition

February 20, 21 (2004) Derevo Theatre Company presents the play Once Upon a Time It's a tale of love, tears and broken hearts enacted by clowns.

March 1 (2004) Orlando Valle in concert The famous Cuban flute virtuoso along with the Maraca - Otra Vision ensemble.

March 9 (2004) Serenades and music from the Ionian Islands Music programme in collaboration with the Ionian University.

May 26 (2004) Dino Saluzzi & the Rosamunde String Quartet Between folk music, jazz and tango: chamber music for string quartet and bandoneon played by the soloist Dino Saluzzi.

Athens Concert Hall The inspiration for a multifunctional culture centre can be traced back to the renowned soprano Alexandra Triandi, who founded the the Friends of Music Society. The society then commissioned some top Greek and foreign architects and sound experts to design the Athens Concert Hall.

In 1956 the Greek government donated a site for its construction. It should be noted that the first monies towards erecting the building came from Dimitris Mitropoulos, who donated the proceeds from the New York Philharmonic's Athens recitals, which he conducted.

The design was completed in the 1970s. The building's foundations were laid following a much needed donation, which covered the project's financing, by the great benefactor and president of the Dekozis-Vouros Foundation, Mr Lambros Eftaxias.

After a hiatus of some years, construction resumed in 1981. A new governing body was formed, this time with the cooperation of the Greek government, which, through a number of substantial donations, contributed considerably towards completion of the project. This new body is the the Athens Concert Hall Organisation, which has been jointly governed from 1981 to the present day by representatives of the Friends of Music Society and the state.

Since it opened its doors to the public in 1991, the Athens Concert Hall has been regarded as one of the most comprehensive culture centres in Europe. Its superb acoustics has been acclaimed both by the public and by renowned performers of the music and art world.The Athens Concert Hall haswelcomed and still welcomes top class artists, music ensembles, composers, conductors and performers in an artistic trajectory that has left its mark in the country's culture scene.

Author : www.travelling-greece.com

Genee International Competition 2004 of the Royal Academy of Dance in Athens

The Genee International Ballet Competition is one of the most prestigious events in the dance calendar -The Olympics of the Ballet world. So, it is perfectly fitting that this year, young dancers, aged from 14 to 19 years old, compete in Athens, home to the 2004 Olympic Games, to win the coveted gold, silver or bronze medals on the stage of the Odeon of Herod Atticus. On June 6, admire the young artists' talent and technique demonstrated in choreographies by Antony Dowson and Christopher Hampson, in a grand production that bears the signatures of the Royal Academy of Dance and the Cultural Olympiad.

Since its inception in 1931, the Genee International Ballet Competition has become one of the world's leading ballet competitions and the annual flagship event of the Royal Academy of Dance. It was named after Dame Adeline Genee, the famous dancer with the long and illustrious career. It is only the second time that the Competition has been held outside of the UK. (The first time was at the Sydney Opera House, in 2002).

The long procedure for the selection of the best candidates began just after the closing date for applications on April 27, 2004. Only 46 dancers were successful in achieving the required examination result. All these obtained a ticket for travelling to Athens and have the unique experience to work with the world-renowned teachers and choreographers Antony Dowson and Christopher Hampson, from May 29 May to June 2, under the guidance of Lynn Wallis, Artistic Director of Royal Academy of Dance.

The selection criteria are indeed tough. Only few out of the 46 dancers can get the once in a lifetime opportunity to battle for a medal at the Final on June 6, in front of an international audience of 5,000 people and a jury led by the world-famous former prima ballerina, Dame Antoinette Sibley, President of the Royal Academy of Dance .

Under the stars on the stage of the Herod Atticus Odeon, the stunning venue which hosted in the past great dancers such as Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Maya Plisetskaya and Mikhail Baryshnikov, each finalist dances 2 solos (male - female) by Antony Dowson and Christopher Hampson, as well as the 19th century classical repertoire variation of his/her choice.

Antony Dowson's Formal Allusion (solo for men) and Tread Lightly (solo for women) are performed in world's premiere. See the detailed program of the evening here.

The competition is extremely hard and the medals, accompanied by Prize money, only 6: three for men and three for women:
  • Gold medal € 7,500
  • Silver medal € 4,500
  • Bronze medal € 3,000

    The Gold medal is only awarded when a candidate, in the judges opinion, demonstrates exceptional technical skills, an inate response to music, outstanding performance qualities and charisma. The Silver medal is awarded to a candidate who is proficient in technique, musicality and performance. Worth to be mentioned is that in 1997 winner of the silver medal was the Greek dancer Pantelis Zikos. The Bronze medal is awarded to a candidate who is proficient in technique, musicality and performance although some areas of the work may be less strong than others.

    Author : Culture guide

  • Great Travelers in Athens, 15th-19th cent
    17/03 - 31/12/2004

    The most important travellers to Athens from the 15th to the 19th century and their famous Itineraries with their most wonderful etchings are displayed in this very interesting exhibition of the Museum of the City of Athens of the Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation in collaboration with the Organizing Committee of the Athens Olympic Games. The exhibition Great Travelers in Athens, 15th-19th cent. makes part of the official cultural program of Athens 2004 and runs through the end of the year.

    Among the items on display are some masterpieces of the kind, like the four volumes of the work of J. Stuart and N. Revett (1792), as well as the works by J.D. Le Roy (1758), Edward Dodwell, Hugh William Williams, William Cole, Du Moncel, A. Gasparini, and others.

    It aims to show that travelers were those who discovered Athens and made it known to the rest of Europe, since event in the 16th century, Athens was believed that it did not exist by then (Martin Crusius, 1575).

    The most important exhibit is the larger painting on Athens ever made that shows Athens (260x520 cm), which is also Jacques Carrey's (1649-1726) first oil painting. It dates back to 1674 and presents Charles Francois Olier Marquis de Nointel (1635-1685), ambassador of Louis the 14th in Constantinople, who visited Athens in November 1674 with his numerous escorts.

    In the background, one can see Athens -under Turkish Occupation by that time- with Acropolis and Parthenon, still in one piece. Thirteen years later, in 1687, it was destroyed by Morosini's attack. Lycabettus Hill is portrayed surrounded by numerous mosques -shown by the rising over minarets, while Parthenon is shown as it was turned into a mosque.

    The significance of Carrey's oil painting lies on its exact topography. No other portrayal of Athens (apart from a sketch, dated from 1670, which is kept at Bonn's Museum) that shows Athens before the destruction of the Parthenon is known today. The exhibition, based mainly of the collection of the Museums and accompanied by a bilingual (Greek and English) catalogue, is a great contribution to the Olympic Year 2004.

  • Museum of the City of Athens, Vouros-Eutaxias Foundation
  • Address 5-7 Paparigopoulou St., 10561 Athens (Klathmonos Sq.)
  • Telephone +30-210-3231397, 3230168, 3246164

    Author : Culture guide

  • To the people of Greece: We apologize
    26 August 2004

    ATHENS - The Greeks could sue for defamation of character. They could demand an apology from the world. Instead they just shrug and order another frappe. Their Olympics are going beautifully. Just like they expected. After all, they invented this business. For years, we heard how miserable these Olympics would be, how dangerous, how choked with traffic, how polluted, how unfinished. After just a couple of days, some observers turned in an instant thumbs-down on the Games. No atmosphere. No crowds. The horror – gymnastics wasn't even sold out! Such rips are ridiculous. For one thing, you can't judge the Olympics until they start. And, in reality, the Athens Games didn't start until Friday, when track and field got under way. Olympic atmosphere comes from 160,000 people streaming into the park every day. And that can only happen when track starts. Until then, the Olympic park seems deserted even with 30,000 people inside it. Saturday night, the upper bowl of Olympic Stadium was filled with rippling blue and white Greek flags and fans cheering for runners and discus throwers. The roar of the crowd rose into the Athens night. You couldn't convince anyone there that these Games have no atmosphere. So far these Games get a huge thumbs-up from this corner. And not just because I set my personal bar so low - my goal was to come home alive. I swore I wouldn't whine about slow buses or hot weather. I'm still alive and feeling sheepish about all my worries. The heightened security is evident but not oppressive. The fear-mongering has dissolved into a happy Olympic atmosphere where Canadian fans wander around in togas and olive wreaths drinking Mythos beer. The Games aren't over, but so far, Athens feels very safe. And there hasn't been much to whine about. The buses run on time. The taxis are cheap. The phones work. Even the weather has cooperated, with temperature mostly in the 90s during the days, but not the 100-plus heat that had been advertised. Are they as great as the Sydney Summer Olympics, which drew rave reviews? So far, they're not far behind (and gymnastics wasn't sold out there either – not everyone loves the little pixies as much as Americans). The scene at Darling Harbor was terrific - but the crowded cafes of the Plaka, in the shadow of the Acropolis, are almost as lively. Are these Games as great as Barcelona, which I didn't attend but many veteran Olympic writers say is their favorite? They're not far behind – and they're beating Barcelona in ticket sales. And how do they compare to Atlanta? There is no comparison. The United States hosted the worst Summer Olympics of the modern mega-Games era. Everything people feared would happen here actually did happen in Atlanta: There was a bombing, the buses didn't run on time, the computer system didn't function, the crowds were suffocating and the weather was oppressive. Greece, the smallest country to host an Olympics in 52 years and one of the poorest countries in the European Union, is outperforming the world's super power. On Saturday, Athens was abuzz. The efficient new metro system was packed with fans heading to every venue. Inside the Olympic park every event except trampoline was sold out (and you're not going to hold it against the Athenians if they don't support trampoline, are you?). On Friday, 244,144 fans went to 47 events. Ticket sales have reached 3.2 million – close to the target of 3.4 million – and they're not done yet. The fact that most Athenians were on vacation until last week is part of the Games' new energy. Not only were the Greeks underestimated, their capital city has been mistreated. For those of us who haven't been here before, Athens is a surprising delight. Yes, it's crowded and poorly laid out. But it has dazzling historic sites around almost every corner, restaurants and bars that stay open until almost dawn, and wonderful, gracious hosts. It also has a terrific coastline along the Saronic Gulf. A new tram runs along the water, and Saturday it carried both Olympic spectators and sunbathers. The beaches were packed and Athenians bobbed in the sparkling water. The first eight days have been a success. I told my cabdriver how impressed I was. "Of course," he said and shrugged. What did you expect from the folks who came up with idea in the first place?

    Author : By Ann Killion, San Jose Mercury News

    Accounting for Athens!

    In the Athens Concert Hall which was full of people, Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis presented the account of the first two years of her term in the Athens City Hall and the plans of her administration for the following two years on Monday evening. She also presented the data for the City's finances and her proposals for the future development of Local Government in Greece.

    The Mayor's speech was divided in three separate parts: the account of the first two years, the planning of works and projects for the next two years and the proposals for changes in the status of Local Government. Mayor Bakoyannis presented in detail the projects implemented by the City of Athens during 2003 and 2004. These projects aimed to improve both the functioning and the image of the city, to improve the services offered to citizens, to promote social welfare and to highlight the identity of Athens and its particular character abroad.

    During the past two years, the investments of the City of Athens increased by 505%, since the investment program raised from 18 million euros in 2002 to 91 millions in 2004. During the same period, the City's revenues increased by 15% per year and the expenses of the functional budget were reduced by a percentage smaller than the raise of salary expenses.

    Athens Mayor also presented the five priority areas of the City Administration for the two following years. The priority areas are: the establishment of a greenery network citywide, the restoration of residential areas, the promotion of social cohesion structures, the intervention in the city's traffic management and the development of the already established infrastructures. The implementation of a complete recycling program is one of the projects that the City will put forward during this year, along with a new parking system in the historical center and in other central areas of Athens.

    Dora Bakoyannis also requested from the central Government to attribute to the City the responsibility for all of the city's squares and to put an end to the dispersal of responsibility for free and green spaces to other organizations. The beginning has already taken place with the attribution of the National Gardens and Lycabettus Hill and the same should happen for other places, such as the city's squares and parks.

    Mayor Bakoyannis concluded her speech with three fundamental suggestions to the Greek government for the development of the role of Local Administration in Greece. The first strategic choice is the establishment of elected government in Regional level, as it is the case in most European countries. The second suggestion concerns the establishment of metropolitan structures for the large city complexes of the country. The third suggestion involves the reinforcement of City Governments, which should be viewed by the Government as bodies which have a social and developmental character. The transfer of funds to local government is the moving force which will alter the role of local government in Greece.

    A very large number of Athenians filled the Athens Concert Hall on Monday evening. The turnout was so great that the event moved at the last minute in a larger room, so that it could fit the people. However there were still many people who did not manage to enter the room and watched the event from the video-walls in the foyer. After her speech, the Mayor of Athens honored the firms that sponsored the project for the refurbishment of the city's squares. The City of Athens Philharmonic opened and closed the event.

    The event was attended by the Minister of Interior Mr. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the Minister of Health and Social Cohesion Mr. Nikitas Kaklamanis, the Minister of Employment and Social Protection Mr. Panos Panayiotopoulos, the former Prime Minister Mr. Constantine Mitsotakis, the General Secretary of New Democracy Party Mr. Vaggelis Meimarakis, the Head of the City's opposition and Parliamentarian of PASOK Mr. Christos Pappoutsis, Parliamentarians of the Athens District, Athens businessmen and artists and a large number of Athenians, who watch for the first time their Mayor render account for the City Administration.

    Click here to read the Mayor’s speech.

    Author : City of Athens

    Athens celebrates first birthday of 2004 Olympics
    14 August 2005

    Greece on Saturday celebrated the first anniversary of the widely-praised opening ceremony of Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    More than 150 children celebrated the opening of the Athens Olympics, blowing out a candle on a festive birthday-cake and enjoying gifts and games in the event's luxury stadium.

    These stadium open-days will be held next year with children from all schools, not only in Attica, that enjoy athletics and Olympic sports. Celebration of the Olympics will continue, Deputy Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia told the children invited from summer camps.

    She noted that the government had worked to repair and maintain sport facilities used in the games, and was proceeding well with a plan to turn them into public and private use in the future.

    This was a dream Olympics we held, in which the sole sponsor was the Greek taxpaying public, which is why it is time for citizens to reap the benefit. Our approach is people-centered, the minister said.

    Meanwhile, to celebrate the opening of the Athens Olympic Games, a large-scale concert was held in the evening by China's Red Poppy Ladies Percussion and winner of Euro Vision Elena Paparizou in the Olympic Beach Volleyball venue, where an audience of nearly 10,000 attended the performance.

    Author : www.Greece-Athens.com

    Old Athens airport will not be site of F1 circuit
    August, 25th 2005

    After a thrilling Olympic Games in 2004, Greece has been vying to host a round of the Formula One world championship, adding a round of the pinnacle of Motorsports to their already impressive sporting portfolio.

    However, talk of building a track close to the Elliniko Olympic Complex near the old Athens Airport has been dashed by the country’s Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister, George Souflias, who confirmed that instead on an F1 track, the country’s largest Metropolitan park would be erected on the site instead.

    That said however, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of building a circuit somewhere else with possible locations Patras, Orxomenos and Santorini (the old mine quarries next to Fira). Well the last one can challenge Monaco...

    "I am not against a Formula 1 race track being built in Greece, but not in a residential area and only with the appropriate infrastructure and facilities," he told the People Daily.

    Author : GP2005.com

    Eurovision Song Contest Athens 2006
    August 30, 2005

    The recent meeting of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group in Athens gave the green light to Greek broadcaster ERT to continue with preparations for the 2006 contest.

    Svante Stockselius commented, The venue will be chosen by ERT. They have presented a suggestion of a venue that the European Broadcasting Union Reference Group visited and has approved. If this venue will be the one actually chosen for the ESC2006 is now down to negotiations between ERT and the venue owner. He was unable to confirm which venue was being considered. Many reports claim that ERT proposed the Olympic Indoor Hall as the venue for the contest. This sort of thing has to come from the Host broadcaster. It is their decision on which venue they want and how negotiations will take place with the venue owners. They will also decide when to officially announce the venue. The EBU is only able to either approve or disapprove of their actions, he clarified.

    Ticket sales for the 51st contest was one point on the agenda for the two-day meeting. In recent years, fans have found getting hold of tickets troublesome. There had been calls for the EBU to hand the job of ticketing the contest to an experienced and reliable external company. This has been rejected by the group. When asked about how tickets will be made available, Stockselius was unable to provide any concrete answer, simply stating, This will be one of the issues for ERT to find a solution for. ERT has now set the budget for the show and in turn, the EBU has been able to let participating broadcasters know the entrance fees for next year. The exact figure is being kept a close secret for the time being.

    Those in Athens also met to discuss the rules for 2006. Although no major changes are expected, the EBU plans to hold off on issuing the final version of the rules until the end of September. When asked if there would be any new entrants this year, the contest supervisor admitted that it was too early to tell.

    Greek TV plans to broadcast a number of shows leading up to the contest that will take place in May 2006. Elisavet Filippouli will host the programmes that will allow viewers a look behind the scenes of the organisation of the event.

    Author : EBU

    Kenenisa, Meseret Get Honourable Citizenship of Athens
    September 8, 2005

    The Athens Olympics 10,000 and 5,000 meters gold medallists, Kenenisa Bekele and Meseret Defar were given the honourable citizenship of Athens on Wednesday in a ceremony held at the Greek club.

    The Charge'd'Affaires of the Greek Embassy in Ethiopia Mr. Michael Karabalis didn't conceal his pleasure when handing over the certificate of the honourable citizenship of Athens sent by the Mayor of Athens Ms. Dora (Thewodora) Bakoyanni to the great Ethiopian duo.

    "I got Olympic gold medal in Athens. This is the first big achievement in my life. And now I am the honourable citizen of Athens. This is great. For me Athens is everything," the joyful Meseret said.

    "My primary wish was to take gold in the Olympics. For an athlete, there is no greater award than winning gold in Olympics. I got it. I didn't expect to get this great opportunity. It is an honour for me to receive such grandiose gift. I would like to thank them. I am now a natural Ethiopian. Plus, citizen of Athens," she added.

    On his part Kenenisa said that he is delighted by this unexpected offer.

    "This is my first time to be a citizen of another city. My home is Ethiopia. This is a great addition. I didn't expect I would get such honour from the capital of Greece. I am happy about it," he said.

    Mr. Michael Karabalis stressed the importance of sports in Greek tradition.

    "In ancient Greek, studying basic education like philosophy would not make you complete in education. Sports and music are indispensable parts of education. The belief was that one has to be physically and mentally sound," he said during a chat with Kenenisa and Meseret. He expressed his respect for the strong Ethiopian athletes. The national coach Tolosa Kotu said that this is very encouraging.

    "I would go so far as to say that this would reside in this soul of all Ethiopian Athletes. It should be categorised or rationally understood as special gift," he said.

    Kenenisa and Meseret will participate in the golden league and grand prix in Monaco scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Kenenisa said that he is happy in his world record breaking performance in Brussels a couple weeks ago.

    Author : Solomon Bekele

    September 18, 2005

    The Greek Dances Theater "Dora Stratou" and the Research and Artistic Ensemble drÕos toPi – Drys Landscapes invite you to an evening dedicated to Homer's Odyssey with the perfomance NEKYIA – THE ARCHETYPIC JOURNEY. It is a multimedia show including dance, song and theatre using audiovisual means connecting traditional and contemporary life. Sunday, 18 September 2005, at 22.00 hours Dora Stratou Theatre, Philopappou Hill, near the Acropolis Conceived and directed by Anna Lazou, with the participation of singers, musicians and dancers A research approach of the homeric Odyssey and other ancient Greek myths based on the philosophical, historical and aesthetic study of ancient Greek dance. Entrance fee : 10 euros. INFORMATION Anna Lazou, Philosophy School– Panepistimiopolis Zografou 157 84 Athens Tel.: 2107277795 -7

    Author : www.Greece-Athens.com

    Athens int'l Film Fest opens Thursday
    September 19, 2005

    The 11th Annual Athens International Film Festival, titled Premieres, will kick off on Thursday, featuring 151 films of Greek and foreign filmmakers, both established and up-and-coming, Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis announced on Wednesday.

    According to the mayor, international film industry celebrities, among them actor Daniel Day Lewis, Korean director Kim Ki Duk, Greek directors Costas Gavras and Theodoros Angelopoulos will be attending the festival making it a truly international, cultural event.

    Bakoyannis also referred to the Athens festival's innovative element, which is that the panel of judges is made up of young adults.

    This year, only students of audio-visual studies, film and drama schools from all over Europe will make up the panel.

    Organisers hope to establish the festival as a dynamic 'workshop' where youngsters from throughout Europe will have the opportunity to learn, exchange ideas and be inspired.

    The festival is being organised by the trade magazine Cinema with the support of the Municipality of Athens.

    Author : Athens News Agency

    Spain's Queen Sofia visits Mitera orphanage in Athens
    September 29, 2005

    Spain's Queen Sofia visited an orphanage in Athens on Wednesday (28.09.05).

    The Queen - who is married to Spain's King Juan Carlos - went to the Mitera orphanage, where she had volunteered her services when it was as a nursery school in 1956.

    Queen Sofia was met by the Health and Social Solidarity Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis, Deputy Minister George Konstantopoulos and the institute's president Maro Kontou, when she arrived at the children's home.

    She admitted she was deeply moved to find herself among former teachers and classmates.

    After meeting with children and staff involved in running the orphanage, Queen Sofia - who has three children and several grandchildren of her own - gave the crowd a speech about the work the organisation does.

    During her talks she referred to the institute's significant work and contribution to society.

    So far, the Mitera children's home has successfully found suitable families for more than 100 orphaned children.

    Author : Athens News Agency

    Athens Mayor Gives New Look to Old City
    September 30, 2005

    Cities can enhance their competitiveness by improving their urban quality, including aesthetic features and public infrastructures, according to Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis.

    Bakoyannis, 51, the first woman mayor in the history of one of Europe's oldest cities, said urban development strategies aimed at beautifying Athens ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games have had a significant impact on the city's competitiveness and attractiveness.

    ``To confront economic, environmental and cultural degradation in metropolitan areas, there is a need to update urban management and planning, transforming these areas into strong, decentralized economic entities with access to global markets,'' Bakoyannis told The Korea Times.

    She was taking part in the Seoul World Mayors Forum at the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul yesterday.

    ``As the mayor of Athens, my two biggest challenges were giving the aging city a facelift ahead of the 2004 Olympics and upgrading its outdated public transportation system. Through the process, Athens has made important progress in solving many of its major problems, especially in urban environment and transportation,'' she said.

    Bakoyannis was elected mayor at the beginning of 2003 with the largest majority in the history of modern Greece.

    During her tenure, she led Athens on its costly preparations for last year's Summer Olympics, which gave the 3,500-year-old city a more modern image.

    The preparations, spanned out through an investment of $130 million, included renovating and remodeling 277 major streets, cleaning and repainting the facades of 3,000 old buildings and redeveloping the city's green spaces. Another 1,300 buildings are on the city's renovation list for 2006.

    The city also spent over $3 billion expanding its metro system, from 25 kilometers in 1999 to 75 kilometers in 2004.

    ``Our face-lifting efforts had direct economic results, with a steady increase in direct foreign investment and a 16 percent increase in tourists compared to the pre-Olympic days,'' she said.

    Bakoyannis said her city is expects to strengthen its ties with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to share ideas and experience for improving urban development strategies.

    The Athens city government is expected to sign a protocol with the Seoul city government today, ensuring future cooperation in developing policies for public transportation, deploying information-technology services and improving cultural environments.

    ``This will mark a starting point for both cities to strengthen cooperation in a variety of fields in the future. We believe that the alliance will have immediate results in the cultural sector,¡¯¡¯ she said.

    Bakoyannis said further developing Athens' mass transit system is a difficult challenge because the city is full of historical and cultural assets.

    The Greek mayor said she was impressed by Seoul's recent revamping of its public transportation system, which strengthened the role of buses by making routes more direct and by simplifying fares.

    ``Improving mass transit is a difficult challenge in Athens, as every time we dig to build more Metro lines, some hidden marvel comes up,'' Bakoyannis joked.

    ``There will be lots of ideas and experiences to share with Seoul in both large-scale urban development strategies and in the details of effectively deploying those plans,'' she said.

    Bakoyannis is the daughter of a former prime minister, Constantine Mitsotakis, who fled Greece's military dictatorship in the 1960s, taking his family into exile in France.

    She is also the widow of former Greek lawmaker Pavlos Bakoyannis, her first husband, who was assassinated by terrorists in 1989.

    Bokayannis, who had spearheaded the public fight against terrorism in Greece in her years in the Parliament, survived an assassination attempt in 2002 shortly after she was elected mayor of Athens.

    By Kim Tong-hyung - The Korea Times

    Author : The Korea Times

    Athens University and Onassis Foundation partner in promotion of Greek culture abroad
    October 28, 2005

    The University of Athens and the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation announced on Wednesday a series of initiatives aimed at promoting Greek civilisation and culture abroad.

    University Dean Yiorgos Babiniotis and Foundation President Antonis Papadimitriou presented the measures proposed during an international conference organised by the foundation in the US and titled Hellenic Studies in the US, Canada and South America.

    During a joint press conference, Babiniotis noted that measures proposed as a means to upgrade and further promote Greek studies include:Student/professor exchange programmes between foundations abroad and Athens University; informing Greek universities of the possibilities for cooperation with foreign universities' Hellenic Studies departments; expansion of the US-based Onassis Foundation's visiting professors' programme and others.

    On his part, Papadimitriou, accompanied by members of the foundation's executive board, referred to the foundation's work which includes university chairs, programmes and centres for Hellenic Studies; donation of books, educational material and school equipment; and the Onassis Library for Hellenic and Roman Art.

    Author : Athens News Agency

    Athens metro grows
    December 2, 2005

    Expanded train system to offer city much-needed traffic relief.

    The government unveiled plans yesterday to extend the reach of the capital’s popular metro system as serious traffic problems continue to plague Athens.

    Environment Minister Giorgos Souflias said yesterday that a fourth line will be added to the train network and that existing routes will be extended by 2009.

    The new line, which is expected to transport some 400,000 commuters per day, will run through the capital’s northern districts. It will serve many of Athens’s new densely populated areas and important facilities, such as hospitals and the university campus. It will also help ease the passenger traffic at existing metro train stations, the minister said.

    More on Kathimerini

    Author : Kathimerini

    Final preparations being made ahead of festive events in Athens
    December 12, 2005

    Workers use a crane to put the finishing touches on the giant Christmas tree in Syntagma Square, central Athens, on Saturday. Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis is due to switch on the tree’s lights on Thursday, as part of a 1.3-million-euro program which will include a Gift City in Kotzia Square, an ice-skating rink at Zappeion Hall and carousels in Omonia Square.

    Author : e-Kathimerini

    Iberia launches new flight from Athens to Madrid
    December 21, 2005

    Five additional non-stop weekly services connecting Athens and Madrid.

    Athens International Airport welcomes Iberia’s new scheduled flight 3885, which, as of January 9th, 2006, will connect directly Athens and Madrid, every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. Iberia operates already two daily services from Athens, to Madrid and Barcelona.

    The new services will provide Iberia’s passengers the opportunity to optimise their connections with 34 destinations in Spain, 21 in America, and 8 in Africa, enjoying the benefits offered by the airline’s broad network. At the same time, within the framework of providing an excellent travelling experience, Iberia provides its overseas passengers the choice of the new ?Business Plus? class, offering new levels of comfort and luxury.

    Welcoming Iberia’s new flight, the CEO of Athens International Airport, Mr. Alfred van der Meer, stated: ?We have the pleasure to welcome to ?Eleftherios Venizelos? the new flight to be launched by Iberia, the leading airline for Spain and Latin America. These five additional frequencies connecting Athens and the Spanish capital, reflect the dynamic development of the Spanish market, which is one of the fastest growing for our airport in the European region?.

    Author : www.Greece-Athens.com

    December 21, 2005

    Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias met at noon today at the Presidential Building in Athens with King Abdullah II of Jordan who is on a working visit to Greece accompanied by his wife, Queen Rania in the picture.

    The talks held concerned the strengthening of bilateral economic relations and were sealed with the signing of two agreements on tourism and investments.


    Experts prepare excavation on Greek island
    January 10, 2006

    British and Greek archaeologists are preparing a major excavation on a tiny Greek island to try to explain why it produced history's largest collection of Cycladic flat-faced marble figurines. Artwork from barren Keros inspired such artists as Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore but also attracted ruthless looters. Now experts are seeking insight into the island's possible role as a major religious center of the enigmatic Cycladic civilization some 4,500 years ago. Excavations will run April through June.

    Keros is one of the riddles of prehistoric archaeology, said Peggy Sotirakopoulou, curator of the Cycladic collection at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens. Of the more than 1,400 Cycladic figurines that have survived, only 40 percent are of known origin, as looters destroyed all evidence on the rest. But more than half the documented artifacts are from Keros. What is particularly impressive is not just the bulk of the finds, which is larger than the total from the rest of the Cyclades, but also that they were intentionally broken during ancient times, Sotirakopoulou said. Therefore, this is a very important, a unique site.

    The Cycladic culture - a network of small, sometimes fortified farming and fishing settlements that traded with mainland Greece, Crete and Asia Minor - is best known for its elegant artwork: mostly naked, elongated figures with their arms folded under their chest. The seafaring civilization was eclipsed in the second millennium B.C. by Crete and Mycenaean Greece.

    Currently inhabited by a goatherd and his flock, Keros lies near the eastern rim of the Cyclades island chain - which includes the humming resorts of Mykonos and Santorini - between the larger islands of Naxos and Amorgos.

    Keros was extensively pillaged during the 1950s and 1960s for its marble figurines, hundreds of which were illegally exported to fill museums and private collections in Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan.

    Evidence from excavations in the '60s and 1980s failed to explain why the barren islet was so much more important in the 3rd millennium B.C. than its bigger, more hospitable neighbors.

    The prevailing explanation is that this was a sacred repository, a sort of pan-Cycladic sanctuary where people left objects within the framework of rituals which included their intentional smashing, said Sotirakopoulou.

    She will participate in the summer's excavation together with Cambridge University professor Colin Renfrew and other experts.

    Past digs - legitimate or otherwise - were carried out on the islet of Dhaskalio, just off Keros, and the Kavos area opposite. This year's work will focus on virgin ground.

    We hope the forthcoming excavations will clarify further the nature of the occupation and activities at Dhaskalio and Kavos, Renfrew said.

    It is clear Kavos was an important site where high prestige artifacts were deliberately broken and left. It is possible, but not yet certain, these were ritual actions relating to ceremonies in honor of the dead.

    Experts agree that the elegant marble figurines were highly prized in the early bronze age Cyclades but still don't understand for what purpose they were made. The figurines have been variously interpreted as depicting gods or venerated ancestors, serving as replacements for human sacrifice - or children's toys. One thing is certain: They were not abstract works of art pared down to the barest representational essentials.

    Visitors say, 'Oh how pure, how white the figurines are,' Sotirakopoulou said. But in fact they had details_ hair, eyes, eyebrows, jewelry - painted on. In most cases, the paint has vanished.

    More by Associated Press


    Campaign against human trafficking opens in Athens
    January 21, 2006

    An international campaign titled End Human Trafficking Now, kicked off in Athens on Monday bringing royalty, politicians and artists to the Greek capital.

    Attendees included Sweden s Queen Sylvia, Queen of Bahrain Sabika, former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble, French composer Jean Michel Jarre and others.

    The campaign, organised by the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement, aims to send the message that step by step, atrocious crimes committed in the name of corporate profits must be stopped.

    UNESCO's Good Will Ambassador and board member of the Women's International Peace Movement organisation Marianna Vardinoyannis described Monday's meeting as one of historical importance and an honour for the country, since it is from Greece that the message aimed at rallying the international business community in the fight against human trafficking is being sent.

    On her part, Mubarak urged the business community to put an end to this horrific phenomenon, which according to her, is not only unethical but one of the greatest crimes against humanity.

    Same report from Bahrain News agency

    Her Highness Shaikha Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa attended in Athens today the roundtable of business community against trafficking of human beings, organized by the Suzanne Mubarak Women International Peace Movement and the Global Coalition Women Defending Peace. The roundtable focused on the magnitude of the issue and discussed its ethical principles and raised recommendations to combat the phenomenon. The main outcome of the Athens roundtable was issuing the ethical principles against trafficking in human beings, especially women and children, which will be presented in the World Economic Forum that starts in Davos on January 25. The round table was attended by the Queen of Sweden, Dr. Boutros Boutros- Ghali, former UN Secretary General ,UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis, member of the Board of Directors of the Movement and. Her Highness Shaikha Sabeeka, in a statement issued on the occasion highlighted the necessity of combating this phenomenon hoping that the business community on the international level and through this gathering would further cooperate with concerned parties to eradicate human trafficking in the world. Her Highness added that the ethical principles issued in Athens could help bring an end to the misery and agony of the less fortunate, in an attempt to protect the rights of all. From the business community, participants included representatives of Chief executive officers from the private sector and other members of non governmental organizations in this field. The main aim of the gathering was for the business community to launch a set of ethical principles to fight human trafficking, in particular that of women and children. At the world economic forum in Davos on January 25, CEOs will share the outcome of the meeting, namely the ethical principles, as an essential means of alerting the global business community. The business community expressed concern that the scourge of trafficking in human beings inflicts enormous suffering in the world, adding that the community considers unacceptable that millions of people are treated as commodities and slaves and therefore denied their basic human rights and dignity. The business community welcomed the efforts of the international community to eradicate human trafficking, through public-private partnership in addition to recognizing the significant potential of the business community to contribute to the global fight against human trafficking. The business community issued several ethical principles which explicitly demonstrated the position of zero tolerance towards trafficking in human beings, especially women and children ,develop a corporate strategy for anti-trafficking policy, ensure the community's compliance with the anti- trafficking policy and encourage business partners to apply ethical principles against human trafficking. Mubarak said the trafficking of human beings is a problem that man has inflicted on other human beings ,similar to the endless suffering and pain caused by wars and conflicts. She added that it is a problem that should never have been and the roundtable was not just organized because the issue of human trafficking is immoral but because it is a crime against humanity. Her excellency added that the world needs to send a clear signal that the state of affairs will not be tolerated and it is by collective responsibility that human trafficking could be eradicated. Trafficking in human beings is considered to be the third largest and fast growing criminal activity in the world. The international labor organization ILO estimates that more than two million people are trafficked across international borders every year, the majority being women and children. Forced labour, according to ILO raises profits of $32 billion a year. Dr. Boutros Ghali praised the initiatives Bahrain has taken through laying a national strategy to prevent this phenomenon. He added that it is essential for both government and non-government organization to work together to combat this phenomenon that impacts millions of people every year . Bahrain has taken major steps in preventing human- trafficking among which was the establishment of a task force of representatives from different ministries that have laid down a strategy to help eliminate any causes that might lead to human trafficking in the Kingdom. Other steps Bahrain has taken include a plan to launch the Safe Houses project as well as hotlines to receive and deal with work complaints. Governmental and non-governmental organisations co- operate to increase awareness on the importance of respecting the rights of foreign workers and protecting them against abuse. The authorities are also looking into a law that criminalises human-trafficking. In 2004, Bahrain acceded to the UN Convention Against Trans-national Organised Crime and the Protocol Against Trafficking in Persons, reflecting its international recognition of the issue and its belief in combating it.

    Author : Athens News Agency

    Athens 2006: stage is ancient theatre
    January 24, 2006

    The stage of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest will look like a modern version of an ancient Greek theatre. Earlier we already revealed that the concept would have strong links with Greece's ancient history. As in previous years, lights, monitors and most likely some moving elements will give each performance its own, unique atmosphere. The Olympic Indoor Arena, a huge venue with a capacity of almost 18,000 people, brought a new challenge on the table; will everyone be able to see the show, even from the top rows? To solve this issue, the ceiling will carry a substantial amount of monitors. According to widely spread rumours, a blue shade will make the audience look like the sea. Tomorrow, host broadcaster ERT will most likely reveal more information about the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.

    Author : www.Greece-Athens.com

    Strolling through Athens
    January 30, 2006

    Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis announced the publication and release on the market of the new edition of the Strolling through Athens guide as well as an organised walking tour programme of the same name. Mayor Bakoyannis also presented the results of the City of Athens Stray Management Programme.

    Mayor Bakoyannis said in her speech: “We are announcing two very important initiatives for the city which began in the pre-Olympic period and are forging ahead with the same force. The first initiative focuses on the promotion of Athens. We are happy to present you with the new edition of our popular guide, Strolling through Athens.

    A joint publishing effort by the City of Athens and the Athens Tourism and Economic Development Agency, the guide is under the supervision the Foundation of the Hellenic World. We received positive comments about Strolling through Athens during the Olympic Games. These comments prompted us to proceed with the release of the guide on the market.

    The Strolling through Athens guide is available in Greek at all bookstores. It will soon be available in English, French and German at select sales points throughout Greece and abroad.

    At this point, I would like to thank the Erevnites publishing house, which has undertaken the printing and distribution of the publication, and I am confident that their experience in the publishing sector will contribute greatly to the successful promotion of this useful handbook on Athens.

    The Strolling through Athens guide is a comprehensive publishing endeavour covering the historic wealth and the major sites and monuments of our city. Of high aesthetic value, pleasant to read, comprised of carefully researched text, the guide offers the reader a unique experience of Athens’ history and culture via 12 historic routes.

    The 12 ‘walks’ underline the city’s most important cultural monuments and at the same time highlight a number of historic events that marked the history and development of the Greek capital.

    However, for me, the most noteworthy part of the book has to do with the fact that the reader can - through its pages - discover those unique features of Athens that are still unknown to our visitors and perhaps to many of us.

    Prominent figures, buildings, events and monuments of our city emerge via the suggested strolls through Athens’ history and are illustrated with a wealth of visual material.

    This guide forms the basis for the design of a comprehensive programme for the promotion of the city under the same name which involves 12 organised walking tours based on the recommended ‘walks’ listed in the handbook.

    The successful promotion of Athenian culture requires close collaboration with all city agencies and careful planning of all related projects and activities. The publication of Strolling through Athens is another move in this direction. It paves the way for similar initiatives and opens a window to knowledge, serving as a valuable tool for every visitor to the city, Greek or foreign. I would lastly like to thank public broadcaster ERT, the communication sponsor, for their support in this worthwhile effort.

    The second initiative we would like to speak about is the City of Athens Stray Management Programme.

    Three years ago, we launched for the fist time at the City of Athens a far-reaching programme for the management of the city’s stray animals. This initiative started from scratch, with no available means, no infrastructure or trained staff, in a time of increased pressure due to the upcoming Olympic Games. Back then, many thought it was a one-off project, lacking in fundamentals and objectives.

    Today the City of Athens:
  • Has recruited specially-trained crews to patrol the streets in vans and collect stray animals without collars
  • Is working with 16 partner clinics, where the animals without tags are spayed or neutered, inoculated, cleaned of parasites, micro-chipped, treated for injury or illness, and nursed to good health. Finally, they are registered in the programme’s database to facilitate monitoring
  • Has created a temporary hospice - a specially equipped veterinary facility which can host and care for up to 100 animals per day that are recovering after being sterilised or due to injury, minor surgery or other treatment
  • Is electronically registering (micro-chipping) street dogs and providing them with traceable identification tags. The micro-chipping is animal-friendly and facilitates the immediate identification by City authorities of the animals it monitors, while answering some citizens’ fears of animal hygiene
  • Has founded the Voluntary Adoption Scheme through its growing network of volunteers. To encourage adoption, the city provides sterilisation, inoculation and basic medical treatment. City staff follow up with individuals who have adopted pets to ensure that strays go to good homes Is working closely with animal rights groups who help raise awareness and encourage the adoption of strays.
  • Launched far-reaching awareness-raising campaigns aimed at sensitising the public about responsible pet care.
  • Has created a municipal veterinary clinic

    We are steadily and humanely dealing with the phenomenon, and hope that in two years’ time we will have made up for the lost time on behalf of the government.

    From the launch of the programme in 2003 through to December 31, 2005, the City has:
  • Neutered, inoculated and registered 1,334 street dogs
  • Treated 862 injured or ill canines
  • Electronically tagged 885 strays
  • Found a warm and loving home through the City’s Adoption Programme for 214 of our furry friends

    Today, we are forging ahead with a programme that has seen results. We’ve put the infrastructure in place and created a network of cooperation in our efforts to best deal with the issue of street dogs.

    Our goals: stray animal welfare and humane animal population control.

    Our priority: sensitising Athenians to the need for responsible pet care.

    We say ‘yes’ to a clean Athens. Besides promoting the friendly and hospitable side of Athens, we should be able to show its clean face as well. The City Police, within the framework of the City’s Social and Prevention Action plan, is encouraging pet owners to clean up after their pets. Those who fail to comply are fined according to the City’s cleaning regulation.

    This said, I would like to take this chance to invite you the City’s awareness-raising event at Eleftherias Park on February 5. I will not reveal what we have planned for the event because we want it to be a surprise especially for youngsters. Our goal is through fun and games and through contact with the animals to eliminate stereotypes and change attitudes. This event is a chance for us to see how we can change our city for the better.

    I have said this several times before and I repeat: However many animals are sterilised or adopted on a daily basis, if each one of us creates new strays, we are simply reproducing an endless cycle. Without the active participation of the citizens, measures will never have full effect.”

    Author : Theodore Koumelis

  • Athens mayor on achievements
    February 9, 2006

    Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis presented the work accomplished during her 3.5 year tenure in office during an event held at the Athens Concert Hall on Wednesday. Bakoyannis said she delivered on her promise to make the Greek capital more modern, more friendly, more functional for both visitors and residents and to prepare the Olympic host city successfully, realising the greatest investment programme ever undertaken in Athens.

    Additionally, she underlined the importance of Moody's rating of the city and the fact that in 2005, Athens achieved a primary surplus of €7 million for the first time.

    Aside from the projects already completed, Bakoyannis also referred to the works currently under way, such as the reconstruction of the Votanikos district and part of Alexandras avenue due to the building of a new stadium for the Panathinaikos soccer club, while preparations are being made for the creation of a Metropolitan Park in Goudi.

    The mayor also referred to the publicity and promotion Athens enjoyed abroad, following the infrastructure upgrade leading up to the 2004 Olympics.

    However, she also spoke about the problems that remain unresolved, such as waste, which is one of the biggest problems facing local government and society.

    In light of the West Attica prefecture coordinating body's decision to shut down the Ano Liossia landfill for three days, Bakoyannis noted that this situation cannot continue.

    Greece cannot be the only country in the European Union in which recycling effectively does not exist; it cannot be the only country where illegal landfills operate, she said, adding that We - the local government and central government - must seek new policies and we must move forward.

    Bakoyannis also referred to the creation of a municipal police force, the creation of a shelter for the homeless as well as a series of initiatives aimed at improving citizens' quality of life as more examples of the municipality's achievements.

    In closing, she thanked all those Athenians who helped the municipality achieve its goals.

    Author : Athens News Agency

    Tickets for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest
    February 23, 2006

    Tickets for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest will go on sale on 27th February through tshellas.gr. At this moment, host broadcaster ERT gives a press conference at Divani Caravel to announce more details about the tickets.

    Ticketstream Hellas in association with ACS courier and Eleftheroudakis Bookstores will handle the ticket sales. The price of the tickets will range from 20 to 250 euros, depending on the day and the seating.

    Roughly, almost 100,000 tickets will be available for the semifinal rehearsals, the semifinal live show, the final rehearsals and the final live show. An approximate 15,000 people will be able to attend each event. The main source of ticket sales is expected to be via the internet.

    Semifinal tickets will be available for EUR 50, 100, 150 and 200. For the final, tickets will be available for EUR 75, 100, 150 and 250.

    For the first semifinal dress rehearsal, tickets for EUR 10 and 20 will be available. The second and third dress rehearsals of the semifinal provides tickets for EUR 10, 20 and 40. The first final dress rehearsal tickets can be obtained for prices between EUR 20 and 50, the second and third final dress rehearsals for prices between EUR 30 and 90.

    The tickets will be purchased online through credit cards and each person can buy up to ten tickets. On 31st March, the system will close. The seating plan of the OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall decides if more tickets will be available. The tickets will be made to be kept as souvenirs.

    Author : esctoday

    Shakira: Stop The War in Lebanon
    July 22, 2006

    Colombian pop star Shakira, whose father is from Lebanon, called for a cease fire in the country, which is torn to shreds by Israeli bombings.

    So many mothers and children are dying every day and that's something we cannot tolerate, not today, not in the 21st century, said the singer before performing at a concert in Athens.

    I want to call (on) the US leaders to stop this war, because we all know that they can stop it, she said.

    I just hope that there is a diplomatic and international intervention right away, I think it's necessary.

    Author : Sofia News Agency

    First Athens mosque
    July 26, 2006

    The Greek government on Tuesday unveiled a location for the first modern mosque in Athens.

    The mosque will be located in a downtown area of the city which is slated to be redeveloped as a sports and parks complex aimed at revitalising the city centre.

    The mosque will be built in the Botanikos area. The mosque will be paid for by the state, said Minister for Development George Souflias, adding it would be close to a new metro stop.

    Greece had pledged to build a mosque in Athens to serve the city's growing Muslim community, mostly immigrants from Asia, but the plan had stumbled over the choice of location.

    Earlier proposals included a site near the airport, 33 kms (20 miles) from the city, or the reopening of an 18th-century mosque which has since been turned into a museum. We welcome this decision and see it as a positive development in accord with the established position of the Church of Greece, Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos said in a statement.

    Author : Reuters

    Liza Minelli in Athens for Hellenic Festival
    July 26, 2006

    Academy Award-winning actress and singer Liza Minelli was in Athens on Monday, where she will close the events for the Hellenic Festival with two concerts on Wednesday and Thursday night at the Herod Atticus Odeon beneath the Acropolis.

    At a press conference at a central Athens hotel, she expressed herself excited and proud to be in Greece - a magical country that combines colour, romance and courtesy, lots of music and dance.

    According to Hellenic Festival director Georgios Loukos, the organisers had saved the best for last and were closing the festival with a superstar.

    He thanked Minelli and U.S. Ambassador to Athens Charles Ries for his help in organising the two concerts by the multi-talented artist, which are taking place in collaboration with the American-Hellenic Arts Centre of Halandri and the American Community School (ACS) in Athens.

    He said the revenue raised by the concerts would go to support the activities of the arts centre, since the U.S. Embassy supported cultural programmes in the conviction that Art was a universal language uniting all peoples.

    This is the second time that Minelli will be performing in Athens, while her appearance here will be part of a major European tour that the artist began in February this year in Munich. After Athens, she is due to appear in Moscow and finally in Montreal.

    Her Athens performances will also be an opportunity for Minelli to take a 10-day trip in Greece.

    Author : Athens News Agency

    Athens named as destination venue for City Break 2007
    Aug. 20, 2006

    Reed Travel Exhibitions and European Cities Tourism are delighted to announce that City Break 2007 will be staged in Athens, Greece.- We invite you to experience City Break 2007 in modern Athens, where you can explore the past and discover the new, said Alex Galinos, Managing Director, Athens Tourism and Economic Development Agency.

    Following last years very successful launch event in Helsinki, City Break 2007 will take place at the stunning neo-classical style Zappeion Mansion and the award winning Intercontinental Athenaeum. This three-day event, 11-13 June 2007, will focus on the growing European City Break market and is expected to attract over 200 European exhibitors from 30 countries who will showcase their products and destinations to pre-qualified international hosted buyers.

    City Break is a break away from the normal trade exhibition format, featuring pre-scheduled appointments with buyers selecting up to 36 appointments with their chosen exhibitors. Companies exhibiting in 2006 included the likes of Eurostar, Blue 1, Octopus Travel, Tussauds Group as well as leading hotel chains and destination management companies. Most of Europe’s leading cities from Athens to Zagreb were represented.

    International Buyers who attended City Break 2006 from around the world included representation from Tui, American Express, Gulliver Travel, Expedia, Easyjet.com

    - Athens will provide the perfect host city destination,” commented Mark Walsh Exhibition Director City Break 2007.

    - Following the rejuvenation of the city’s infrastructure as part of the Olympics in 2004, we have in place all the facilities needed to support a growing event such as City Break 2007. With it’s new hotels, restaurants and associated facilities the city will hopefully match that of the experience received from Helsinki, Finland, the inaugural show host city in 2006”.

    Alex Galinos, Managing Director, Athens Tourism and Economic Development Agency said:
    - We invite you to experience City Break 2007 in modern Athens, where you can explore the past and discover the new. The modern City of Athens, the premier city-state in ancient times, is delighted to host City Break, one of Europe’s newest networking and business travel exhibitions dedicated to promoting city break tourism, the fastest growth sector of European travel”.

    More info on City Break Expo

    Author : Boarding.no

    Athens Trophy
    Aug 20, 2006

    This year will see the Circuit 21 boats from 11 different nations. Last year the racing was close, with races won and lost by seconds. This season promises to be even more exciting, setting new standards in every area.

    The Breitling Med Cup is attracting the best sailors in the world.

    From the round the world racers, massive budget America¢s Cup sailors, to medalists in the Olympics, all come together to compete on the TP52 Breitling MedCup Circuit.

    The penultimate event in the circuit will be run by the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club in the ancient military port of the Micromilano peninsula in Piraeus. Athens has long had a strong relationship with the sea and this tradition has continued from antiquity through to the modern day, when this historic capital played host to the 2004 Olympic Games. Without doubt one of the most spectacular venues in the Circuit, as much for its history as for its island-filled clear waters. Welcome to the cradle of the Mediterranean!

    More on the event website: Athens trophy

    Author : Greece Athens

    Greek tourism to grow faster in '06, report
    September 14, 2006

    Tourist foreign exchange inflows are expected to lag behind, in growth terms, the growth rate of tourist arrivals in the country this year, a report by the Institute for Tourist Research and Forecasts (ITEP) said on Tuesday.

    The report said tourist foreign exchange revenues were not expected to match a forecast of a 8-10 percent growth rate in tourist arrivals in Greece this year, but would record a growth rate of at least 6.0 percent for the year.

    ITEP said tourist foreign exchange inflows recovered strongly in June, while he noted that tourist arrivals in August -with the exception of Corfu- exceeded forecasts and led to a forecast for a growth rate of 8-10 pct in 2006. Tourist arrivals in Crete and the Dodecanese rose 10.6 pct and 12.1 pct respectively, in the period January-August 2006, compared with growth rates of 6.3 pct and 1.4 pct in the corresponding period in 2005. Northern Aegean islands also recorded strong growth, exceeding 10 percent in the first eight months of the year.

    Cyclades islands also recorded strong growth in tourist arrivals, while Ionian islands lagged behind with the exception of Cephalonia (up 16 pct this year after a drop of 10 percent in the same period last year).

    The report noted that Greek tourism growth was more than double compared with other competitors in the European Mediterranean region (Spain +5.3 pct, Turkey -2.2 pct and Portugal +5.5 pct).

    Another report says foreign tourist arrivals in Greece rose by 8.3 percent in 2005 over the preceding year 2004, according to figures released Wednesday by Greece's national statistics service (ESYE) regarding the previous year’s numbers.

    According to the ESYE figures, arrivals from Europe, which account for 93 percent of the tourist market, rose by 6.5 percent in 2005, with the largest proportion (19 percent) coming from the UK, followed by Germany (15.7 percent), and Italy (7.9 percent).

    A substantial increase was also recorded in arrivals from Romania (51.5 percent), Bulgaria (36.3 percent) and Russia (28.1 percent).

    With respect to a breakdown of data concerning travel means and point of entry, the airports with the highest rate of traffic in 2005 were Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (AIA), with 24.1 percent, followed by Irakleio Airport (Crete) with 12.8 percent; Rhodes with 7.8 percent and Corfu with 5.6 percent.

    In a comparison with 2004, the airports with the largest increase in traffic in 2005 were Mykonos (14.8 percent) and Santorini (10.5 percent), while declines in arrivals were recorded at the airports of Kavala (25.6 percent), Rhodes (77.8 percent) and Patras (Araxos) (49.3 percent).

    A 2.6-percent increase was also recorded in passenger arrivals on charter flights in 2005 as opposed to 2004.

    Author : Athens News Agency

    Athens show reveals secrets of antiquities smuggling
    September 15, 2006

    Having fought for decades to recover its stolen ancient treasures, Greece is now hosting an exhibition exposing the secrets of antiquities smuggling past and present.

    Sepia photographs of 18th century European aristocrats posing proudly next to looted ancient art may startle visitors to the Benaki Museum, but the show History Lost is not just a stroll through the past.

    Organisers say its timing could not be better, coming as top museums such as the Getty in Los Angeles, whose former antiquities curator is on trial in Rome for trafficking looted Italian art, are beginning to give back stolen works.

    The audio-visual show takes visitors through the ages of antiquities smuggling - from the Victorian collectors of Classical art to the looting of Iraq's National Museum in 2003 - and the routes of the modern-day illegal trade.

    In the 17th century, wealthy Europeans, enchanted with the ideals of Classical beauty, filled their homes with Greek and Roman antiquities. By the 20th century, African and Asian art once seen as ethnic handicraft also fell victim to the trade.

    The exhibition is divided in two parts, before and after the 1970 UNESCO convention on the illicit trade of cultural heritage, which prompted former Metropolitan Museum director Thomas Hoving to declare: The age of piracy has ended.

    The United States signed the treaty in 1983 and Britain in 2003. But it was the Swiss signing in 2005 that was hailed a major victory against antiquities smuggling.

    More on Reuters

    Author : By Dina Kyriakidou

    1st Arab-Hellenic economic forum in Athens
    September 15, 2006

    The first-ever Arab-Hellenic economic forum was held in Athens on Friday, with the primary focus on expanding tourism markets, both ways.

    Tourism Development Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, among others, noted that private investments in the greater Athens area's hotel sector alone -- renovations and new construction -- have reached 500 million euros.

    Lebanese Tourism Minister Joseph Sakris also addressed the forum, where he detailed the catastrophic consequences, as he said, that recent warfare inflicted on his country's tourism sector and infrastructure.

    Finally, the president of the association of Greek tourism and travel agents (HATTA), Yiannis Evangelou, said the number of Greek tourists to Syria, for instance, doubled in 2006.

    On the sidelines of the event, representatives of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) signed a memorandum of cooperation with the corresponding chamber in the UAE city of Sharjah.

    Author : Athens News Agency

    Getty Museum Will Return 2 Antiquities to Greece
    September 17, 2006

    After months of intense scrutiny of its collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles said today that it had agreed to relinquish ownership of two of four rare ancient works that the government of Greece says were illegally removed from within its borders.

    The compromise accord, which was initially reached in May at a meeting in Athens between the museum’s director, Michael Brand, and the Greek culture minister, Georgios A. Voulgarakis, provides for the return to Greece of a large stele, or grave marker, acquired by the museum in 1993 and a small marble relief from the island of Thasos bought by the museum’s founder, the oil magnate J. Paul Getty, in 1955.

    The Getty has not yet worked out the formal arrangement under which the stele and the relief will be repatriated, but officials said the accord might include a provision for long-term loans from Greece. Talks are continuing on the other two objects sought by the Greek government, with goal of reaching an accord by late August, officials said.

    Mr. Brand said the museum decided to give up title to the stele and votive relief even though negotiations are incomplete because the Getty was eager to establish a new working relationship with Greece.

    More on NYTimes

    Author : HUGH EAKIN

    Athens Classic Marathon
    October 14, 2006

    Among all the Olympic events, the Marathon Race stands out because it was born by a real historic and heroic event.

    It was a feat accomplished by a news-bearing foot soldier from ancient Athens, who announced - with his last words - the victory of the Greeks against the Persians in the battle of Marathon (490bc).

    The 42,195m Marathon Race became one of the most competitive events when the Olympic Games were revived in 1896. A Greek athlete by the name of Spyros Louis, running what has ever since been referred to as the 'Original Course' from the ancient city of Marathon to the Panathinaikon Stadium in Athens, won the gold medal of the first modern Olympic Games and became a legend of Greek and international athletics. The Marathon Race has always had a prominent place in the hearts and minds of sports enthusiasts, as it represents the highest effort where the human body, soul and mind are tested to their limits as the runner presses himself/herself to the finish line.

    This year the Athens Classic Marathon (the only Marathon race in the world, which is held on the original course and the course of the 1896 first modern Olympic Games) will be held on November 5, 2006. Be there!

    More info on Athens Classic Marathon

    Author : Greece Athens

    City of Athens to spend 1.5 million euros on events for festive season
    December 6, 2006

    The City of Athens will spend 1.5 million euros on decorating the city center and organizing events for Christmas, Athens Mayor Theodoros Behrakis said yesterday. The outgoing mayor said that the lights on the Christmas tree in Syntagma Square will be switched on in nine days. A 120-year-old carousel will also be set up in the square for children to ride. A smaller carousel will operate in Kotzia Square from December 16. A giant snowman in front of Zappeion Hall will house the “workshop of fun,” Behrakis said. The municipality has also organized three New Year’s Eve concerts at Syntagma, Kotzia and Klafthmonos squares.

    Author : eKathimerini

    The Grand Promenade
    December 6, 2006

    The exhibition title refers to the Grand Promenade of the Unification of Archaeological Sites, a majestically named footpath that winds around the base of the Acropolis, taking in pine groves and archaeological sites. Kafetsi’s idea was to create an ‘open’ museum combining Athenian heritage with contemporary art and daily life. Forty-four international and local artists were invited to choose a site for their work, including not only the Promenade but various other locations around town.

    More on Jeniffer Higgie review

    Author : Jennifer Higgie

    PAAM 2013
    June 6, 2011

    EAACI is having a Pediatric Allergy & Asthma Meeting, PAAM 2013, in Athens.

    More information on EAACI

    Author : GreeceAthens

    Varlamis Efthimios exhibition, Santorini, houses of God, landscapes and compositions
    June 21, 2011

    What makes Santorini so exciting, the mystery of the island, is the ability it gives us to realize an entire habitat, history, natural environment, social and religious structure. These you can not meet in other places. It is worldwide rare, because Santorini does not let the man to see it, to observe it as an object, but accepts him as a guest, is hugging him. Is the result of a mysterious civilization in history, known as Minoan Peace.

    With these words the renowned Greek painter and architect, Professor Efthimios Varlamis, defines the need for a metaphysical initiation, as he attempts through a series of works titled Santorini, houses of God, landscapes and compositions.

    What is ultimately Santorini? Can art capture what he sees? Himself Mr. Varlamis answered: In my paintings about Santorini I do not want to represent what exists, what would be redundant. I tried to get to the heart of reality. My art represents what does not exist, what is lost. It is a situation that carries a landscape or a building in an ephemeral state between the annihilation and memory. It is symbols, ideas of a lost island, is humility and grandeur of traditional architecture, which I studied and studied with patience and love.

    The architecture of Santorini, according to Mr. Varlamis, is archetypal, touches the deepest layers of our being, and not confined to the epidermal surface of a decorative style.He also notes that the secret of the island is the Cave troglodytic culture, a culture which has benefited from the geological and tectonic nature of the island to convert the land itself to house.

    Featuring Santorini as a great world building, which to be experienced requires to know the humility of the cave, Mr. Varlamis notes that the architectural space is configured for directing the sociability and a whole range of contact points carrying personal initiative in a stable society. Santorini is a place of laughter and joy, is a paradise on earth.

    To those who wonder why there are so many churches in Santorini, the great creator says that the island is organized so, that God is omnipresent, to accompany man in his every step.

    The exhibition Santorini, houses of God, landscapes and compositions, which is under the auspices of the Thira Municipality, opened on June 20 at the gallery of the Hellenic American Union in Athens, by the President of the Union, Chris Spirou, and prefaced by the historian and Art critic Athina Shina. The exhibition runs until June 27.

    Author : Greece-Athens.com

    Athens and Epidaurus Festival 2012
    July 4, 2012

    Athens Festival

    From Mitropoulos and Callas to Rostropovich, Pavarotti, Leonidas Kavakos and Dimitris Sgouros. From Rondiris and Koun to Streller, Peter Hall, Noh theatre, Bunraku puppet theatre, and the Peking Opera. From Balanchine to Pina Bausch, and from Nureyev and Fonteyn to Martha Graham and Alicia Alonso.

    Above all, however, it is a venture with an eventful past often clouded by events in Greece¢s recent history. A venture that, over the last six years, has taken on a youthful vitality, and openness. A reversal of this state of affairs was clearly necessary – to pursue modernism once more, to systematically open up the Festival to cutting-edge international productions, and to promote young Greek artists who have something to say to contemporary audiences. To spread the events of this arts festival across the entire city, to seek out new and different audiences, and to cater for ever more arts lovers through the select events of a contemporary festival. A new identity – a festival that is inclusive, that reflects its host city, and that brings the livelier aspects of society back into play. This is the challenge to be met; work to this end began in earnest in 2006, and the wager has yet to be won.

    Author : GA

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